2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/14/2017 7:39 PM

Coffaro takes control as Hersey handles Libertyville

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By Greg Swiderski
Daily Herald Correspondent

For Hersey's Joe Coffaro, it was a nice daily double.

The senior guard scored his 1,000th career point on a free throw in the second quarter, and he went on to score a career-high 31 points in the Huskies' 77-48 drubbing of Libertyville on Saturday afternoon in nonconference play at Ken Carter gymnasium in Arlington Heights.

"The most I've had previous was 30," said Coffaro. "I was hoping I could get the 31. I put in so much time in the off hours. I want to make the most of this season as I can. I like to be creative on offense. Basketball, it's an amazing game. I really like having a game like this."

"It's a tribute to how much time he has spent in the gym working in the gym on his game," said Hersey coach Steve Messer. "The hours he has worked on making himself a better player the past three years are uncountable. I've never had a player who came to the gym on his own to work on his game."

Not to be forgotten is that the Huskies (9-8) did an about-face with their game plan against the 8-9 Wildcats.

"We talked about getting off to a fast start, and then sustaining it," said Messer. "Tonight was the first game where we did that for all four quarters. The defense tonight was our energy, it was the key to game. Because we put pressure on their guards we got some turnovers, rebounded well (getting a 24-15 edge) and ran our offense for the whole game."

Forward Ken Hasley had a strong game inside for the Huskies, hitting on 8 of 11 shots. Hasley had two offensive rebound baskets and snared 9 rebounds to lead the team.

"Coming out fast was important," said Hasley. "We kept our intensity and we played good defense. This was big for us because we either come out flat and then have to turn it up in the second half, or we have to battle late to keep the lead.

"This was a good weekend for me, with 12 points Friday (against Wheeling) and 16 tonight. But we got some other nice scoring from the other team members."

Grant Wagner had a strong game with 19 points and Chris O'Toole added 7.

Libertyville hung tough for the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Harrison Bach. He hit two 3s and scored 8 of his team-high 15 points in the quarter.

The Wildcats only trailed 17-13 at the end of the quarter.

Hersey hit the switch in the second quarter, outscoring Libertyville 27-13 to lead 44-26 at halftime.

Coffaro scored 17 points in the second quarter, including four 3s.

Libertyville started the second quarter with a 7-2 run. Bach had 4 points and Drew Peterson's 3 to cut the lead to 46-33 with 5:51 left in the quarter.

Hersey put together a 17-2 run over the next five minutes for a 63-35 lead.

The Wildcats were hurt by 19 turnovers, with Hersey scoring 12 points off of the miscues.

"Coffaro was just great for them in the first half," said Libertyville coach Brent Mork. "They got us on our heels. They were hitting their shots, and that gave them lots of energy. We'll watch the tape and work on getting better for our next game against Lake Zurich. You always have hiccups during the season. Today was a big one."

Coffaro was happy with the result also and is hoping some colleges take more notice.

"This was our first complete game," said Coffaro. "I think this game can show people what we are capable of doing as a team. I've heard from a few colleges. I'd like to think I can play at a Division II school."

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